Bridge Program for Academic English

UMUC Asia offers the Bridge Program to foreign student learners in Japan who have had previous experience in the English language but have not achieved the required proficiency scores to be admitted as regular students.

The five-course sequence (with a sixth, optional course) is designed to improve fundamental speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Academic English for you to achieve a higher level of proficiency and facilitate your transition into the U.S. higher education system. The Bridge Program also aims to orient you to a western-style university so that you will be confident in pursuing additional courses and potentially a full degree with UMUC.


The Bridge Program is currently established at Iwakuni, Misawa, Sasebo, Yokota, Yokosuka, Zama and in Okinawa. The program may soon expand to other areas in Japan. If the Bridge Program is not available at your location, you may still be admitted to UMUC as a regular student but you should speak with a Bridge Program representative before submitting your UMUC application for admission.

Student Categories

Required Test Scores

 Bridge ProgramRegular Student
  1. SOFA Status students for whom English is not a native language may enter the program without an English proficiency score. However, students in this category must begin with the first course in the sequence.
  2. Non-SOFA Status Japanese & Foreign students who wish to take courses with UMUC must meet the required test scores and be approved by their prefectural governmental agency. The corresponding agency for that region will oversee the initial screening of applicants and forward a list of their recommended students to UMUC. These students must have an official certificate of English proficiency from TOEFL, EIKEN (within the last 2 years), or IELTS prior to admission to the Bridge Program. Upon successful completion of the Bridge Program course sequence, students will be allowed to take regular UMUC undergraduate courses.
  3. Base employees (IHA/MLC) can be admitted without a prefectural agency referral and are not required to have an English proficiency test. IHA/MLC employees will need an endorsement letter from his/her supervisor to confirm eligibility.
  4. Other foreign students who have attended a U.S. high school and/or U.S. college or university and completed an English composition course can be admitted without a designated agency referral and are not required to have an English proficiency test.

    Students who were educated in these countries meet the English language requirement and are not required to take a proficiency test.
  5. Regular, degree-seeking students must have a TOEFL IBT score of 79 and above, EIKEN Grade Pre-1 or other acceptable proficiency score to be admitted as regular students. Students in this category may take any UMUC undergraduate course.

Bridge Course Sequence

Session 1UMEI 030Interpersonal Communication Skills (3 institutional cr.)
Session 2UMEI 020Integrated Skills for College Literacy (3 institutional cr.)
Session 3EDCP 102Integrated Skills for Academic Success (3 cr.)
Session 4EDCP 103XFundamentals of Writing and Grammar (3 cr.)
Session 5WRTG 101XIntroduction to Writing (3 cr.)
Session 6SPCH 100X (Optional)Foundations of Speech Communication (3 cr.)


Sasebo Area

  • Executive Committee for College Study
  • Liaison Office for U.S. Navy Colleges
  • Sasebo Municipal Office
  • Phone: 0956-24-1111 Ext. 2566


Tokyo Area

  • Fussa Yokota Friendship Club
  • Phone: 042-530-2506

Misawa Area

Other Areas

  • UMUC Asia Bridge Program Coordinator
  • Jackie Cillizza
  • Phone: 098-961-0195 or DSN 634-0195